Monuments mark an important part of America’s historic past, and there are currently over 100 national monuments across the nation—all worth visiting multiple times over. This Fourth of July, make it a point to cross some of these monument visits off your bucket list.
Fort McHenry – Baltimore, MD
The poem that would eventually go on to become the Star-Spangled Banner was penned at Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key. He was so moved by seeing the flag fly over the fort the morning after the battle, that he wrote this historically significant poem. Built to stop British forces from invading Baltimore, this fort provided vital protection for the troops, and is worth a visit on your monument tour.
Devils Tower – Crook County, WY
Not only is The Tower a sacred national monument that was formed millions of years ago, it’s also a structure favored by climbers who come from around the world to test their skills. If rock climbing isn’t your activity of choice, consider hiking the 1.3-mile trek around the formation, which gets you moving all the same. Devils Tower is open 24/7/365, making it even more unique visit on your monument tour. Don’t forget to stop and admire the Circle of Sacred Smoke, a sculpture near The Tower that’s meant to signify world peace.
Carrizo Plain – Santa Margarita, CA
This off-the-beaten-path grassland plain can be found 100 miles from Los Angeles, and is well worth the drive out there. You can camp or simply go for the day to see the abundance of wildflowers in bloom—some of nature’s most wondrous display of flowers. This remote park became a national monument in 2001, and remains one of those hidden gems you have to make time for.
Montezuma Castle – Yavapai County, AZ
Lasting 800 years, Montezuma is a preserved archaeological site that is a must-see on your monument tour. Located in Central Arizona, the structure is preserved due to the nature of how it was built—protected in an alcove, away from exposure to natural elements. Although it may look it, the structure isn’t hard to access or find.
These national monuments are just a few of many. Make a point to visit more throughout the year, especially as Independence Day rolls around.